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September 29
2014

harjit bali
India

Question

I am very confused. My question is: Does God Exist? I am 32 years old and still I am not settled yet. Daily morning I pray to God: “Please forgive me. Please god help me. Please God show me the way.” Were have I to go?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Friend,

At 32, you are ready to be settled and it is an age where it is right to wish for this. It is good and it is right.

Think about this: if a person is desperate to have a job or to find a marriage partner, his “desperate-ness” will show itself in nervousness, anxiety, and in making poor decisions, grabbing at the first opportunity instead of being patient for the right opportunity. To be desperate is to PUSH AWAY the very thing one wants the most.

Therefore, have calmness, contentment, even-mindedness, and cheerfulness: these are the best remedies for attracting success and fulfillment.

God answers all prayers, but restless prayers he answer only a little bit. Meditate first and make contact with God in the form of inner peace and contentment. Then, when you are near the end of meditation, hold up for prayer and guidance your goal of being settled. Feel how achieving your goal can help you and others spiritually by becoming a responsible, hard-working, generous and kind person in your family, your neighborhood, and your community. Ask God: “How can I serve you best? How can I love you more perfectly?”

Then, let the prayer go and go about your daily duties with joy, energy, and willingness to do the right thing and have a good attitude under all conditions.

Try this and be patient about this. We cannot see the karma from past lives that weaves itself into the present life. We must see our lives with the eyes of God and of eternity!

Blessings,

Nayaswami Hriman

Sangita
India

Question

Namashkar! We have grown up learning that a man of strength in character apologizes when he wrongs someone. He is not scared or ashamed to say sorry to make the victim feel better. On the contrary, recently I read an article in which American psychologists say that apologizing may not be a good idea always as we give away our power to the victim. It may lead to lowering of our self esteem. Which one holds more truth?

Nayaswami Hriman

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Seattle

Answer

Dear Sangita,

Those “American psychologists” may have had particular circumstances in mind, but, in general, it IS the right thing to apologize (and make amends, where possible). Under most circumstances there will be no DISadvantage to do so and every moral and spiritual reason to “do the right thing.”

From a spiritual and karmic point of view, and a human one as well, apologizing (and making appropriate amends) is to help balance the karma of the harm one has done to another. Apologizing affirms self-honesty and transcendence of ego-affirming and ego-protective tendencies. The soul does not hesitate to apologize and make amends. Socially and humanly, an apology opens the heart: the one harmed has an incentive to forgive while the one apologizing feels remorse for the harm inflicted.

Are there any circumstances where it would be wise NOT to apologize and where to do so would be “giving away one’s power?” Well, I suppose it’s possible if a person (apologizing) tends to be self-abasing and the person being apologized to would likely respond to the apology by being abusive, angry or hurtful when the apology is being given. So, sure.

But it could also be true that if I had harmed someone, even someone who was, themselves, an abusive person, I might still feel to apologize to him and to do so with dignity and calmness. If I could remain centered even as I was lectured to and yelled at by the person to whom I apologized, it could still be “good for me” spiritually and the right thing, in any case, to do. After all, I am admitting I harmed him and am “taking my lumps” calmly. So, it really depends on specific circumstances and personalities. Do you see what I mean?

Sometimes the middle path is to wait a while until the person you have harmed has calmed down or recovered a bit before apologizing.

OK?

Blessings to you,

Nayaswami Hriman

Indrani
India

Question

If despite not so good behavior, one has a soft corner for someone due to past connections, is it a weakness and attachment, or is it true love?

Nayaswami Seva

Nayaswami Seva

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Indrani,

Choose always to love. But understand that love needs to come from a higher source, such as your guru or God. I have found that we do not really know what love is as it gets all tangled with emotions and past experiences. It is best to always turn toward God and draw his light and love into your heart and spiritual eye. You are ready then to give love to all.

This means that keeping an open and positive attitude to all is essential — for them and particularly for yourself. This does not mean that you need to interact with everyone, especially those who show bad behavior. In fact, it’s best not to be around such individuals as their energies can sometimes be stronger than yours. If this is the case they will bring your energies down to their level. Never let this happen. Do not be around them, but send them God’s love in prayer.

To live in this world it is best to keep your energy strong and in the light. You can always send this person or persons prayers for their well being. If you need to interact with negative, harmful people, keep your energy strong and in the light. Be brief and positive. They will soon get the message and leave you alone or possibly change their attitudes.

If you are talking of a specific person in your life who has bad attitudes, best to not see him/her until your energy is stronger. Again, you can always send them love and light from the divine. This will keep your energy in the light and it will definitely bring light to that person.

Bless you, Seva

theotis
USA

Question

I have seen many friends with very little spiritual disposition become interested in spiritual teachings due to LSD and other psychedelic experiences. Yet these things are not spoken well of in most teachings. Will you help me to understand why these things that can draw souls to spiritual interests are condemned?

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Kristy Fassler-Hecht

Ananda Maine

Answer

Dear Theotis,

Thanks for your question regarding the use of hallucinatory drugs, such as LSD, to awaken spiritual yearning. In Swami Kriyananda’s book, Letters to Truth Seekers, he answers your question very well.

November 7, 1967

You ask what my views are on drugs. In a nutshell I might say that I do not approve of them, but nor do I condemn them completely for I have seen many people brought to the spiritual path as a result of them. Yet I don’t think it is drugs that have actually given those people anything concrete. What has been accomplished, rather, is that the drugs have released certain spiritual samskars, or impressions born of past spiritual actions, that were lying dormant within them, awaiting the opportunity to express themselves. Those impressions would have to come out sooner or later anyway. My claim that drugs release what was there already, instead of giving one anything new, is supported by the fact that some people, taking the same drugs, have had quite opposite and even terrifying experiences.

But I have noticed that when people take drugs not only once or twice, but continuously, the effect on their personality seems to be deleterious. One or two doses may at least make one aware that uncommon states of consciousness exist (though it seems foolish to me even then to offer one’s mind up as a guinea pig to dangerous experiments). But what I have observed is that, in time, a subtle form of egotism develops which is even more insidious than the competitive, worldly ego toward which drug users are so condescending.

The path to God – to Truth; call it what you will – is one of self-offering, not of self-indulgence. My Guru’s guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, said, “Many people forsake worldly attachments only to seek them again on a subtler level of miracles and astral phenomena.” It is not what God gives us in meditation in the form of visions and the like that determines our inner progress, but our increasing willingness to give all that we are to Him. Drugs seem to inspire a sort of spiritual self-centeredness, an attachment to experiences, that is the very opposite of self-giving. Quite apart from the fact that the experiences themselves are certainly of a lower order (subconscious, mostly, not superconscious), the very human attitude that these drugs engender is one of indifference to the “realities” of other people. In this sense drugs, in the long run, actually reduce one’s sensitivity to reality as a whole, in spite of the claim that they make one more sensitive.

I suggest you bear in mind the words of Sister Gyanamata: “Remember, your religion is tested in the cold light of day.”

In Divine Friendship, Swami Kriyananda

I will add here Paramhansa Yogananda’s words, “The path to God is not a circus.” One doesn’t find God through shortcuts but through total self-offering as mentioned above by Swami Kriyananda. It is difficult to offer one self to a Higher Reality if one’s consciousness is not under one’s own control.

Joy to you, Kristy

July 22
2014

dhruv parikh
india

Question

I have few questions, please clear my confusions..

1) What is the fourth consciousness state of “turia”?

2) In “The Time Tunnel” I read that “Time is deep cosmic secret, no one knows what it means! We must try to solve this secret.” Can you please explain real nature of time and how it flows?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Dhruv,

Turiya is the so-called fourth state of consciousness (conscious, dreaming, dreamless sleep, turiya). It is the state beyond deep, dreamless sleep, in which the superconscious is active. It is the constant background consciousness that we all have, but upon which the other three states can—and usually do—intrude and thereby interfere with the experience of reality as it truly is.

As for time, all great masters say that time and space are illusions. But as long as we are in the illusion, time is a reality. So to understand the true nature of time, we must be able to step outside of the illusion. That can be done only in the superconscious state; any explanation I could offer would be mere words, which are of the conscious mind. Yet the conscious mind wants to have some understanding of time, and I hope you will find some of the following helpful.

First, Paramhansa Yogananda offered an analogy: He compared time to a movie film, which can be run through a movie projector quickly or slowly, forward or backward. Think about it.

Another step toward understanding time can come by noting that outward reality is full of change, and it is change that gives rise to our experience of time. Without change, we would have no sense of time. Change and time are the same. (Again, think of the movie film analogy.) If we live in the superconscious state, however, we perceive the changeless, timeless nature of the one true reality.

Now let’s leave philosophy and analogy in favor of a practical suggestion from Swami Kriyananda’s Success and Happiness Through Yoga Principles: “The secret of turning the truth of timelessness to best present advantage is to see change, and even evolution itself, as a process of unfolding awareness. Allow no fleeting concern to lead you away from that goal. At the same time, don’t allow theoretical philosophy to blind you to present realities.”

Blessings,

Gyandev

July 22
2014

P
India

Question

Hi... I have been on the spiritual path for over a year now. It has helped me in many ways. Recently in a aura capture by an aura camera, it was found that my root chakra is shrunk. I am told that it determines our career and the money we attract in our life? It is true that I don’t attract as much money as the amount f hard work I put in. Also I feel lethargic despite doing energization exercises. What is the safest way to balance this chakra? I don’t think more meditation will help.

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear P,

We are very glad to hear of your being on the spiritual path for some time now and that it has helped you in many ways. I’m sure it will continue to be a great blessing for you.

Regarding the chakras, an “aura photo” is fun to have made, but it cannot show a permanent picture of what is going on in one or more of your chakras. This is because the chakras are made of energy and are always in motion, fluctuating rapidly. As the saying goes: “You can’t step into the same river twice.” Your chakra system is like a river of energy — always changing! An aura photo today will look very different from one made at a different time, depending on your attitudes at that moment.

Also, a chakra cannot shrink. It is made of light and therefore has no “size.” Radiations of light from the chakras can seem dimmer if the energy is “stuck” and or not able to flow in it’s positive channels, inward and upward through the chakras system to the higher chakras.

Our path’s teachings on the 1st chakra explain that its positive qualities are steadfastness, loyalty, strength, courage, holding fast, with faith, to truth and to your spiritual path. The negative qualities are stubbornness,, bigotry, and unwillingness to grow and change. Perhaps these attitudes could affect your career or your relationship to money. Also, feeling lethargic might be a negative quality of this chakra.

You ask what is the safest way to “balance this chakra?” Offer its energy, in meditation, inward and upward to the spiritual eye. Visualize it. Breathe it. You say that you think meditation will not help? Not so! It is the major tool for working with the chakras, along with changing your negative attitudes to positive ones, in each chakra. Energization is a HUGE help also.

It is important also not to single out one chakra and try to work on it alone. The chakras are a part of a dynamic system and need to be worked with as a whole, by running prana (conscious, cosmic energy) through all the chakras. This is because prana is conscious, it knows where to go and what to do for ANY chakra which might need help.

If you have further interest in Paramhansa Yogananda’s and Swami Kriyananda’s teachings on the chakras, please read Chakras for Starters.

Roby
india

Question

How can I be free of lust? How can I convert this energy of lust into divine love? Why is it that this energy cannot stop? This energy corrupts my mind to lustful thoughts. I WANT TO BE FREE OF this problem so that I experience no problem in the spiritual path.

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Roby,

You are dealing with one of the greatest challenges on the spiritual path — but it is also the greatest opportunity. The energy that is manifesting as lust is the same energy that will give you liberation. Yogananda said our emotions were like “rocket fuel.” When we are troubled by lust our rocket fuel is focused downward in the spine. When we develop devotion and practice Kriya Yoga our rocket fuel is focused upward in the spine.

Do not condemn your behavior or think it unfair. Those thoughts will only prevent you from the real work of transmutation. Do not think of your sexual desire as a particular kind of energy. It is just energy. Through habit and conditioning your energy is flowing toward the sex organs. Here are some things you can do to redirect your energy to higher fulfillment:

1. Exercise regularly. It will free blocked energy.

2. Maintain a diet that promotes thorough elimination. A constipated bowel irritates and stimulates the sex nerves.

3. Avoid sexually suggestive magazines, movies, and internet sites.

4. Develop a regular devotional practice. Chant. Pray. Awaken the heart’s love for God with great determination.

5. Practice Kriya Yoga. Kriya Yoga draws energy directly up the spine into the brain, away from the sex organs, and toward the spiritual eye.

Be patient and kind to yourself. You will have times when you feel like you are making progress — and you will likely have times when you feel as if you are getting nowhere. Do not give up. Do not feel that you are not spiritual because you feel sexual desire or act on sexual desire. If you remain set on your goal, no matter what set backs you may experience, you will not only prevail over your unwanted lust, but you will begin to experience an inner joy that is far sweeter, and far more lasting, than anything the you can experience through the senses.

Warm regards,

Puru (Joseph) Selbie

June 27
2014

Meenakshi
India

Question

I want to know about myself. Who I am? why I am here? What is the purpose of my life — job, family, or something else? Why do I always change my decision? Why do people make fun of me? Am I not a good person? How can I find out myself. In our culture marriage is very important, and I am still single. Will I get married or not? How I should live my life? and if I will get married, how I can find that he is my soulmate? Sometime I feel I am good for nothing. Please help me to make my mind clear.

Nayaswami Seva

Nayaswami Seva

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Meenakshi,

The times we live in changed the old boundaries that supported our lives. We have to find out who we are by our own experiences. We have to find out the meaning of life by ourselves. Paramhansa Yogananda and other great teachers say that the meaning of life is to find God, that roaming in the world of the senses, wanting pleasures, money, marriage, will not give true happiness. True happiness comes first by knowing one’s self, the Divine within. Pure joy comes only through knowing God. This is a constant and does not fluctuate with each new desire, as the joy of God is beyond desires.

To begin we need to learn to meditate, to center our thoughts and feelings within our own self. Meditation can change your life and bring you clarity and banish confusion. I would suggest that you contact Ananda to obtain the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. I’m partial to these teachings but do know that other great teachers are also available. In India you will find our website at anandaindia.org. In America, for those who may be reading this reply, the website is ananda.org. These teachings are vast as they embrace all aspects of life.

It is vital to know your self, to know what direction in life you are to take, to feel confident, and to be a support to all without fear of their reactions to you. You can accomplish this through meditation and through the desire to find your true self through a spiritual path.

Blessings to you, Seva

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